Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MP Bhagwant Mann is occupied these days with his electoral challenge to Sukhbir Singh Badal, but a promise he made under media glare to a woman vendor in his constituency, Sangrur, seems to have been forgotten.
Mann had come and met 23-yr-old Dalit woman Husan Kaur after a video of her selling sugarcane juice at a village bus stand located near Mann’s village went viral on the internet in June. He promised her financial assistance to convert her two-room tenement into a pucca house.
The sole breadwinner of the family after her father’s and brother’s deaths, Bir Kalan resident Husan Kaur then started working for the AAP.
As Mann never got back, Husan Kaur contacted district administration officials, who told her they could provide her benefits such a toilet, but not the money to build a house. “Mann had said he had spoken to the deputy commissioner, but the latter has expressed inability to help,” said Husan Kaur.
“I had full faith in Mann and I started working with his party. I often came late in the night from rallies. However, he never thought about me,” she added.
Some NRIs did help her. “But they also stopped their aid after Mann’s assurance.” From these NRIs, she got `1.25 lakh and she paid off a debt of `80,000. “Now I have a little amount which is not sufficient to build a house. I fail to understand that, if Mann has spoken to the DC, why did they deny help?” she said.
Husan Kaur worked as a labourer since her teenage until last year, when she started selling cane juice. While her brother died a few years ago, father Ajit Singh died in 2014. She lives with her mother. She is enrolled in Class 12 as a private candidate and has left working with the AAP.
“At least he could have provided me with a small job, so I could have earned some money. Now I have been told by the party representatives that it would be possible to provide me a house if the party comes to power,” she said.
DC Jaskiran Singh said, “The MP asked the district administration verbally, but not in writing, to help her. She failed to meet the conditions of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Gramin). We will try to provide her a house under other schemes of the government.”